The Last White Rose

The Last White Rose

by Desmond Seward


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One of the most dramatic periods of British history, the Wars of the Roses didn't end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Despite the death of Richard III and Henry VII's victory, it continued underground into the following century with plots, pretenders and subterfuge by the ousted white rose faction. In a brand new interpretation of this turning point in history, well known historian Desmond Seward reviews the story of the Tudors' seizure of the throne and shows that for many years they were far from secure. He challenges the way we look at the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, explaining why there were so many Yorkist pretenders and conspiracies, and why the new dynasty had such difficulty establishing itself. King Richard's nephews, the Earl of Warwick and the little known de la Pole brothers, all had support of enemies overseas, while England was split when the lowly Perkin Warbeck skilfully impersonated one of the princes in the tower in order to claim the right to the throne. Warwick's surviving sister Margaret also became the focus of hopes that the White Rose would be reborn. The book also offers a new perspective on why Henry VIII, constantly threatened by treachery, real or imagined, and desperate to secure his power with a male heir, became a tyrant.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605985497
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 04/15/2014
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Desmond Seward was born in Paris and educated at Cambridge. He is the author of many books, including The Hundred Years War; The Wars of the Roses; Eleanor of Aquitaine; Caravagio; and The Plantagenets. He lives in England.

Table of Contents

Genealogical tables:

1 The Royal Descent of the de la Poles and the Courtenays viii

2 The Royal Descent of the Poles ix

Acknowledgements xi

Overview: The White Rose, 1485-1547 xiii

Part 1 Henry VII and the White Rose

1 Autumn 1485: 'this woeful season' 3

2 Easter 1486: Lord Lovell and the Stafford Brothers 11

3 Early 1487: Margaret of York 24

4 Summer 1487: 'Stoke Field' 36

5 Winter 1489-90: The Conscience of Abbot Sant 48

6 Winter 1491-Autumn 1494: One of the Princes in the Tower? 57

7 January 1495: The Lord Chamberlain is a Traitor 75

8 Summer 1495: The Yorkist Invasion 82

9 Autumn 1495-Summer 1497: The Scots and the Cornish 91

10 March 1496: The Grand Prior Plans to Poison the King 103

11 September 1497: Cornwall Rises for Richard IV 111

12 Autumn 1499: Bringing Down a Curse 122

13 Autumn 1499: Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk 133

14 Summer 1501: White Rose and White King 140

15 September 1504: A Conversation about the Future 153

16 Winter 1505-6: An Ill Wind 163

Part 2 Henry VIII and the White Rose

17 Spring 1509: A Yorkist Tudor? 173

18 1513-21: A King over the Water 181

19 1519-Autumn 1520: The Duke of Buckingham 194

20 Winter 1520-Spring 1521: 'A Giant Traitor' 204

21 Winter 1524-5: A White Rose Dies 217

22 1525-35: The White Rose Party 226

23 1533-4: Rebellion? 235

24 1535-6: The Lady Mary and the White Rose 247

25 Summer 1535: A New White Rose? 256

26 Autumn 1536: The Pilgrimage of Grace 266

27 Spring-Summer 1537: 'Mr Pole's Traitorous Practises' 279

28 Autumn 1538: The 'Exeter Conspiracy' 290

29 Winter 1538-Summer 1539: Cardinal Pole's Last Throw 310

30 May 1541: The Death of the Last Plantagenet 318

31 Winter 1546-7: Henry VIII's Final Phobia 333

Epilogue 345

Chronology 350

Abbreviations 353

Bibliography 356

Notes 367

Index 391

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